A patient who is being treated in the hospital for a spinal cord injury is advocating for the removal of his urinary catheter, stating that he wants to try to resume normal elimination. What principle should guide the care teams decision regarding this intervention?

Answer Explanation: Bladder distention, a major cause of autonomic dysreflexia, can also cause trauma. For this reason, removal of a urinary catheter must be considered with caution. Extended use of urinary catheterization is often necessary following SCI. The effect of a spinal cord lesion on urinary function depends on the level of the injury. Catheter use does not cause nerve damage, although it is a major risk factor for UTIs.

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